Speaking to a group of business people and academics at Oxford University’s Said Business School last night (November 1), Juliet Schor of Boston University revealed that both consumers and marketers participating in research for her book about the commercialisation of childhood had said “food’s the one that lost”.

Faced with a range of concerns about their children, most parents have to prioritise the ones on which they believe they can have an impact. High levels of tobacco, (prescription) drug and alcohol marketing to American children, they believe, are more dangerous than food advertising. Given that they can’t fight every battle, interviewees generally cited food as one that they didn’t feel able to fight or win.